Mentors & Protectors
Here are some of the things it can mean: You’re screening potential play partners for someone- maybe your agreement with your protectee is that before they can meet with or play with someone new, the prospective new person has to talk with you first, either on the phone or by email. Perhaps it’s simply that if your protectee is approached by someone at a party or online, they can use you as a reason for turning that person down if they don’t feel right about them. If something doesn’t feel right to your protectee, they can talk to you about it, check in and get help ples.
Or, to quote another individual, I may or may not be actively playing with this person, but they are a special friend/protege of mine, so fuck with them and you’re fucking with me, buddy.”
A mentor is someone who, according to the BDSM Wiki is ‘a person who is considered a veteran in BDSM as a lifestyle, has agreed to take on the guidance (mentoring) of a Pupil into the lifestyle and has earned the trust of the pupil. The mentor will answer questions, help the pupil find resources, console them on possible internal struggles or give them resources for such help. A mentor will be sure to listen, understand and answer questions in regards to BDSM as well as help guide the pupil towards beneficial information and experiences.’ Now this also comes with its own bundle of controversy, as why have only one mentor when, in a local scene, you can have numerous people offering advice instead?
Obviously, there can be people that take advantage of either mentoring or protecting. But this should not deter someone from having a mentor or protector, if they feel that they will benefit from it.
*This document is based on the pattern observed between creepers and potential predators that come into Fetlife or other networks looking for a piece of ass or toy to break. It is clearly perception-based and not an exact science or one-size-fits-all formula. It is not a foolproof tool, rather a tool that may help guide new fetish community members away from potentially harmful individuals and/or situations.
This is an especially helpful tool for what predators see as “fresh meat” – those who don’t have any partners, Protectors or Mentors clearly listed on their profile.*
Someone not listening to you trying to close or end a conversation? Someone sending harassing messages? The block button is your friend. Don’t be afraid to use it. It can give you the breathing space that you need to clear your head and get away from the stress, particularly if just asking them to stop did not work prior.
Some people do it, some people don’t. I’ve got a high number of friends because most are either people I’ve met offline or, the majority, are photographers, models, designs or fans of my modelling. Since the follow feature was enabled, you can just follow someone without needing to send a friend request. This is ideal if you still want there to be some degree of separation between the wider public and friend’s only, but you still want people to be notified of when you upload things. This is particularly useful as a model. The only downside is that I can’t go back and edit everyone who was ‘grandfathered’ before this system was introduced.